CMA Fest: Carrie Underwood Dishes on Surprise Joan Jett Collaboration

Carrie Underwood brought out rock icon Joan Jett during her CMA Fest performance, and now she's dishing on how it all came about.

Underwood took the stage for a late night set at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, on Friday, in what was a stellar evening for country music. However, the "Southbound" singer added a little rock 'n' roll to the mix when she brought out Jett for a medley of hits. Together, the pair performed several of Jett's classic tracks, including "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," "Bad Reputation" and "I Hate Myself for Loving You."

Prior to the show, Underwood told us how exactly the collaboration came about. According to her, she wanted to finally perform together after "bumping into each other" numerous times over the years.

"I feel like we've kind of had connections and bumped into each other in various places, and the stars just aligned and, it was like 'What if Joan Jett came to CMA Fest? Well, let's ask her!'" Underwood told and other media backstage. "So she's here. The coolness has arrived, and I'm hoping some of it rubs off on me at least."

Underwood famously reworked "I Hate Myself for Loving You" for NBC's Sunday Night Football, with Pink, Faith Hill and herself taking turning singing a version of the tune with altered lyrics. However, Underwood's Jett fandom runs deeper than just that.

Apparently, the American Idol alum has always been a fan of the former Runaways member. Underwood said her admiration transcended the music and extended to the trail Jett has blazed for herself and others in the music industry.

"I mean, (I'm a fan of) the music, first and foremost. Before I even knew anything about Joan Jett, just hearing her songs on the radio," Underwood said. "The more I got to know and see just how much of a trailblazer she was for not just women in her genre of music, but women in music in general, I mean I'm a fan on every level. Personally, professionally, musically. (It's) an honor that she has heard my name before and agreed to come sing with me."

CMA Fest continues through Sunday. Saturday's Nissan Stadium lineup includes Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Luke Combs, Dierks Bentley, Pistol Annies, Brett Young, Billy Ray Cyrus and Runaway Jane. Sunday's lineup includes Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Old Dominion, Chris Janson, David Lee Murphy and Jimmie Allen.


Gayle Thompson contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images